Thu, 26 January 2023
Grenade found near J-K ex-MLA's house, probe on
A grenade has been found near house of former Surankote MLA Choudhary Muhammad Akram/ANI
21:12 Grenade found near J-K ex-MLA's house, probe on
One grenade was found near the outer wall of former Surankote MLA Choudhary Muhammad Akram's house in the Poonch area, the police informed on Thursday.
Incidentally, there was a mild explosive blast at his house, four days back.
Further investigation is underway in the case.
The Army on Wednesday busted two hideouts in the Poonch area in Jammu and Kashmir and recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition.
While one hideout was busted in Ratta Jabara forest, the other hideout was in the Dhoba forest.
"The Indian Army busted two hideouts in Poonch. One hideout has been busted in Ratta Jabara forest and another in Dhoba forest. A large quantity of arms and ammunition have been recovered from these hideouts," the Army said in a statement.
To crackdown on terrorists, Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday accorded the sanction for the establishment of 'Terror Monitoring Group' and created twenty different posts under the squad.
Meanwhile, J-K police along with the 29 RR of the Army rescued five youths including two juveniles in Baramulla from joining terror ranks, said an official statement. -- ANI
20:16 Hindenburg Research says it stands by report on Adani Group
Hindenburg Research on Thursday said it fully stands by its report on Adani Group and believes any "legal action taken against us would be meritless".
"Regarding the company's threats of legal action, to be clear, we would welcome it. We fully stand by our report and believe any legal action taken against us would be meritless," said Hindenburg Research in a statement that was posted on its official Twitter handle.
Earlier on Thursday, Adani Group said it was mulling legal options in the US and India against Hindenburg Research after its report accused firms owned by Gautam Adani of market manipulation and accounting fraud.
Jatin Jalundhwala, group head - legal, Adani Group, in a statement, said, "The maliciously mischievous, unresearched report published by Hindenburg Research on 24 January 2023 has adversely affected the Adani Group, our shareholders and investors."
"We (the Group) are evaluating the relevant provisions under US and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research," Jalundhwala said.
The legal head further added the volatility in Indian stock markets created by that report is of great concern and has led to 'unwanted anguish', among Indian citizens.
Hours after the Adani group legal head's statement, Hindenburg Research, in its statement, said, "If Adani is serious, it should also file suit in the U.S. where we operate. We have a long list of documents we would demand in a legal discovery process."
"In the 36 hours since we released our report, Adani hasn't addressed a single substantive issue we raised. At the conclusion of our report, we asked 88 straightforward questions that we believe give the company a chance to be transparent. Thus far, Adani has answered none of these questions," the statement said, adding that the Group has instead resorted to "bluster and threats".
Reportedly, the research firm, in its report on Tuesday, raised concerns about shares of Adani group companies having a possibility of declining from their current levels, owing to high valuations. It also said the Group's exposure to debt was a concern.
On Wednesday, Jugeshinder Singh, the chief financial officer of the Adani Group said the conglomerate was "shocked" by the Hindenburg Research's report and termed it a "malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India's highest courts". -- PTI
Students being detained for sloganeering outside Jamia Millia University/ANI Photo
19:44 13 Jamia students held for BBC docu show released
Thirteen students detained for organising a screening of the BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots at Jamia Millia Islamia on Wednesday have been released, officials said.
The detained students were released after the Republic Day parade on Thursday, a senior police officer said.
The government had recently directed social media platforms to block links to the documentary titled India: The Modi Question.
The external affairs ministry has trashed the documentary as a "propaganda piece" that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset.
Scores of students were detained on Wednesday as they gathered outside the university gate to protest against the detention of four Students' Federation of India activists hours before the proposed screening.
While the police released a majority of the detained students on Wednesday evening, 13 remained in detention, the SFI had claimed.
The SFI announced the screening of India: The Modi Question on Wednesday.
Of the 13 detained students, four -- SFI Jamia unit secretary Azeez, SFI South Delhi area vice-president Nivedya and units members Abhiram and Tejas -- were detained on Wednesday morning, the students' organisation alleged. -- PTI
19:12 Eight dead after ship sinks between Japan and South Korea
At least eight crew members died after the ship sank in the East China Sea off Japan's Nagasaki Prefecture on Wednesday, Kyodo News Agency reported on Thursday.
The 6,551-ton Jintian, carrying 22 crew members gave a distress signal and sank early on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the officer said that two crew members were found dead.
Notably, all the six recently confirmed dead among the 13 rescued from a Hong Kong-registered cargo ship, were either from China or Myanmar.
Although none were sent to the hospital, contact has been established with their respective countries, the coast guard said.
According to the Kyodo News Agency, the vessel made the distress call around 11:15 pm from about 110 kilometres west of Japan's Danjo Islands in the East China Sea.
A gale warning was in effect when the call was made.
According to the coast guard, the cargo ship carried 14 Chinese and eight Myanmar nationals as crew members.
The vessel was en route to South Korea's Incheon from Malaysia, carrying wood.
The KySix crew members were rescued by the South Korean coast guard and two by Japan's Air Self-Defense Force.
The two rescued by the ASDF were confirmed dead after being sent to a hospital via Nagasaki Airport.
The incident took place outside Japan's territorial waters, as per the report in Kyodo News Agency. -- ANI
18:28 No backchannel talks with India: Pak minister
Pakistan said on Thursday that no backchannel talks were being held between Islamabad and New Delhi.
"At this moment, there is no such thing under way," Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar told the Senate - the upper house of parliament.
She added that backchannel diplomacy was desirable when it was result-oriented.
Separately, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch at the weekly media briefing reiterated Khar's remarks about no secret diplomatic engagements with India.
"There is no backchannel diplomacy between India and Pakistan," Baloch said.
Speaking in the Senate, Khar went on to say that Pakistan had always taken initiatives to promote peace in the region but right now, the cross-border hostility [from India] is of a unique type.
She said that Pakistan was asked at international forums sometimes to normalise its ties with India, but the world should look at the messages New Delhi was sending to Islamabad.
"The messages that we are getting are all conflagratory. Pakistan has the largest interest in unleashing [the potential of] this region but when you have a government on the other side whose prime minister says that their nuclear assets are not for Diwali  then what can we do?" Khar told the senators.
Her remarks came days after Indian media reported that New Delhi has invited Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to attend the foreign ministers' and chief justices' meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO in Goa in May. -- PTI
18:12 Amid tussle, Delhi LG invites Kejriwal, AAP MLAs
Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena has invited Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his ministers and 10 AAP MLAs for a meeting with him at the Raj Niwas here Friday evening, amid the ongoing tussle between the elected government and the LG office.
The chief minister has been asked to come to the meeting alongwith his Cabinet colleagues and any 10 MLAs of his Aam Aadmi Party at 4 pm, Raj Niwas officials said on Thursday.
The two sides have been at loggerheads over multiple issues including a Delhi government proposal to send its teachers for training in Finland.
On January 16, Kejriwal and his party MLAs had marched from the Vidhan Sabha to Raj Niwas to meet Saxena over the teachers' training proposal.
The chief minister returned after waiting for nearly an hour, claiming the LG refused to meet him, his deputy Manish Sisodia and AAP MLAs.
Saxena denied the charge in a letter he wrote to Kejriwal days later, saying the chief minister insisted for a meeting which would be attended by all his MLAs, and that it was not possible at a short notice.
Kejriwal, replying to the LG letter, had suggested a fresh proposal for A meeting between the two sides. However, AAP leaders had later claimed that Saxena refused to meet the Chief Minister and AAP MLAs.
A scene of bonhomie was, however, witnessed as Kejriwal attended the 'at home' function ahead of Republic Day hosted by the LG at Raj Niwas on Tuesday.
The two were seen warmly greeting each another during the function that was also attended by politicians from BJP and other parties. -- PTI
BSF exchanged sweets with Pak Rangers at the Attari-Wagah border
17:12 BSF, Pak Rangers exchange sweets along IB in Jammu on Republic Day
The Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers exchanged sweets and greetings at various outposts along the International Border in Jammu on the occasion of India's 74th Republic Day on Thursday, officials said.
The Border Security Force offered sweets to Pakistan Rangers and they reciprocated, the officials said.
The exchange of sweets took place at border outposts in Akhnoor, Samba, Kathua, Arnia and R S Pura in a cordial manner, a Border Security Force official said.
Indian Army troops also exchanged sweets and greetings with their Pakistani counterparts at forward posts along the Line of Control in Rajouri and Poonch districts, according to the officials.
Republic Day was celebrated at the frontier headquarters in Jammu.
BSF Inspector General D K Boora unfurled the tricolour on the occasion and conveyed his warm wishes to all 'Seema Praharis' serving at the International Border and the LoC and their families. He also recalled the supreme sacrifices of BSF troops.
The IG said the BSF has always faced all challenges firmly to ensure the safety of Indians and will always be committed to the security of the nation. -- PTI
16:54 JD-U declines Cong's invite to attend Bharat Jodo Yatra
Janata Dal-United president Lalan Singh on Thursday expressed his inability to attend the concluding event of the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar on January 30 and asked the Congress to take appropriate steps to unite the opposition.
In a letter to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Singh cited his scheduled engagement for a political programme in poll-bound Nagaland to skip the Yatra's conclusion.
Though the Congress has invited heads of several non-BJP parties to attend the event to finish the mega exercise aimed at rejuvenating its organisation in the run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, it remains to be seen how many of them turn up.
Some regional party chiefs may send their representatives at a time when the Opposition is itself divided over what shape any such alliance against the BJP should take and who should be the spearhead.
Singh said, "My party sincerely feels that the need of the hour is an unified opposition and expects that the Indian National Congress takes appropriate steps in this direction".
The JD-U has in the past highlighted its preeminent leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as prime ministerial candidate, without officially projecting him as its choice for the face of the Opposition.
Singh, however, shared Kharge's sentiments against the BJP, saying there are "no two opinions that there is a decline in democratic values in the country and that the Constitutional institutions that are supposed to ensure checks and balances on unrestrained executive power are being systematically destroyed".
The pace at which the country is fast transforming itself from an "electoral democracy to an electoral autocracy" is frightening, Singh said.
He termed the concluding event of the yatra as "historic" and wished it success.
"The Bharat Jodo Yatra has also given an opportunity to study, experience and sense the mood and anxieties of the people first hand, which I am sure will go a long way in helping us formulate joint strategies in the run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections," he said.
The march started from Kanyakumari on September 7 and entered Jammu and Kashmir via Punjab on Thursday last.
The marathon march will culminate with Gandhi unfurling the national flag at the party headquarters in Srinagar and addressing a grand rally at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium on January 30. -- PTI
16:44 Sitharaman kicks off Budget process with halwa ceremony
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Dr Bhagwat Karad and senior officials of the finance ministry participated in the symbolic 'Halwa Ceremony' that marks the beginning of compilation of budget documents.
The 'halwa ceremony' marks the beginning of the lockdown of several officials in the finance ministry, who remain cut off from their families until the presentation of the Budget by the finance minister in the Lok Sabha.
As a part of the ritual, which has continued for long, 'halwa' is prepared in a big kadhai and served to the entire staff in the ministry.
The Union Budget will be presented on February 1.
16:33 S M Krishna dedicates Padma Vibhushan to people of Karnataka
Veteran politician and former Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna, who has been conferred with the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of the country, on Thursday said he will dedicate the award to the people of the state, who have nurtured him for six decades.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the 90-year old leader, who has been given the award in the 'Public Affairs' category said, he is " too humbled" to accept the award.
"My parents will be pleased and happy for that the honourable Prime Minister and Home Minister have thought it fit to confer this prestigious distinction on me. I'm grateful to the government of India and I'm also grateful to the people of Karnataka," Krishna said.
He said, he will dedicate the award to the people of Karnataka, who have nurtured him in the last six decades.
"I was least expecting anything, this is something which has been blessed, and I'm too humbled to accept this," he added.
Krishna, who was with the BJP until recently, had earlier this month said that he was retiring from active politics, citing his age as the reason.
He was the 16th Chief Minister of Karnataka, from October 11, 1999, to May 28, 2004 (from Congress).
He had served as Governor of Maharashtra and was the External Affairs Minister during the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government from 2009 to 2012.
A law graduate, he studied in the United States graduating from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and The George Washington University Law School in Washington DC, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
Krishna started his career in electoral politics in 1962 by winning the Maddur assembly seat as an independent by defeating Congress' KV Shankar Gowda. He was then associated with the Praja Socialist Party before joining Congress.
Krishna had served as the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from December 1989 to January 1993.
He was also a member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at various times from 1971 to 2014.
He was a member of both Karnataka Assembly and Council, and also had served as Deputy Chief Minister (1993 to 1994), and was Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president ahead of the 1999 Assembly polls in which the party won and he became the Chief Minister.
Krishna is credited by many for putting Bengaluru on the global map, as a fillip given to the IT sector during his tenure has resulted in the city growing as 'India's Silicon Valley'. He had joined the BJP in March 2017, ending his nearly 50- year-long association with the Congress. -- PTI
16:20 Bharat Biotech's nasal Covid vaccine launched
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh launched Bharat Biotech's nasal Covid vaccine, iNCOVACC, on the occasion of Republic Day on Thursday.
The world's first made-in-India intranasal vaccine was launched at Mandaviya's residence here.
The nasal vaccine -- BBV154 -- had received the Drugs Controller General of India's (DCGI) approval in November for restricted emergency use among adults as a heterologous booster dose.
According to a statement issued by Bharat Biotech earlier, 'iNCOVACC' is priced at Rs 800 for private markets and at Rs 325 for supplies to the government of India and state governments
iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilised spike protein. This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phase I, II and III clinical trials with successful results, the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker had said.
Clinical trials were conducted to evaluate iNCOVACC as a primary dose schedule and as a heterologous booster dose for subjects who have previously received two doses of either Covishield or Covaxin. PTI
Kannada author S L Bhyrappa
15:57 Got Padma Bhushan because Modi is PM: Kannada author
Noted writer and novelist S L Bhyrappa, who has been conferred with the Padma Bhushan on Thursday said if there is relevance to a writer's work even after his death, then it is a big award.
Expressing happiness on being conferred with the Padma Bhushan, he said he got the award as Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister.
"All that I can say is, as Modi is the Prime Minister I have got this award, if not I wouldn't have...not sure why not earlier," Bhyrappa said in response to a question if the award was overdue.
Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, he said, "awards will come and go, no one will observe what award a writer has got, if they (readers) have an interest in his (writer) book they will like it. A writer may die one day, what is important is will there be relevance to his book even after his death.
"How long the relevance will be 100 or 200 or 500 years...There is Kumara Vyasa (classical poet) in Kannada, it has been over 500 years after his death, but even today people read Kumara Vyasa Bharata in every village. If there is such essence in my work it is a big award, rest (award) will come and one will be happy when it comes," he added.
Bhyrappa is a widely-acclaimed Kannada author whose work has been translated into over 14 languages - specialising in writing about society and values in Indian epics
His works Vamshavruksha, Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Matadana and Nayi Neralu were made into films that received critical acclaim.
Among various novels Aavarana is among the most popular ones.
He is the recipient of Padma Shri, Saraswati Samman, Sahitya Akademi Award among others.
Noting that he is happy with this honour, Bhyrappa said, "it is dedicated to the people of Mysuru, as since I came here for high school, my gurus and people here have nurtured me. I sat down and have written my works here, Mysuru has been the inspiration for it." -- PTI
15:09 MP tailoring new excise policy to discourage drinking, says Chouhan
The Madhya Pradesh government is working on a new excise policy aimed at discouraging liquor consumption in the state, said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday, appealing to the people to work towards protecting the environment.
The CM was speaking at a function at the Garrison Ground here on the occasion of the 74th Republic Day. He also greeted people for Basant Panchami, which is being celebrated today.
"A new excise policy is being drafted to discourage drinking. Work for a nasha mukt (drug-free) society. Plant a sapling on your birthday, marriage anniversary or in memory of mother or any other occasion. I plant saplings daily," he said.
Chouhan announced that the state's second global skill park will come up in Jabalpur MP's first global park is in Bhopal.
He said a new industrial city will also be set up in Jabalpur for which 332 hectares of land has been identified near National Highway-30. Industrial units apart, the facility will also have a logistic hub, commercial and residential plots, hotels and hospitals.
The chief minister reiterated that the state government is working to make Madhya Pradesh Atmanirbhar on the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's AatmaNirbhar Bharat vision of making India a self-reliant nation. He sought cooperation from all sections of society to make the state Atmanirbhar.
Chouhan also urged the citizens to take a pledge for the prosperity and development of Madhya Pradesh. -- PTI
15:07 SRK's 'Pathaan' smashes records, collects Rs 55cr on Day 1
Shah Rukh Khan made a grand comeback to the big screen with his new Hindi film Pathaan raising a whopping Rs 55 crore net and its dubbed versions bringing in additional Rs 2 crores on the opening day, the makers announced on Thursday.
According to production house Yash Raj Films (YRF), the movie's net day one collection stood at Rs 55 crore, the "highest grossing first day for a Hindi film".
Pathaan was also released in Tamil and Telugu on Wednesday.
The Siddharth Anand directorial, which faced boycott calls over the song Besharam Rang, marks Shah Rukh's return to movies after a gap of over four years. His previous film was 2018's Zero.
YRF said Pathaan had set multiple new records, including the "widest Hindi release of all time in India" and "highest grossing first day for a non-holiday release".
The first day gross collection of the stylish spy thriller is also the "highest ever" in Shah Rukh's career as well as for co-stars John Abraham and Deepika Padukone, director Anand and YRF, the studio stated in a press release.
"It is a historic day for Indian cinema and we are humbled to see the love and appreciation that is flowing for Pathaan globally.
"For Pathaan to shatter records in this fashion on a non holiday, just proves that the theatrical business is here to stay, provided we make films that entice people to come to the cinemas to witness a never seen before experience that entertains them thoroughly," Akshaye Widhani, CEO of Yash Raj Films, said in a statement.
With its record day one haul, Pathaan has exceeded the expectations of the industry experts who were banking on the action spectacle to pull out Bollywood from the trenches of the pandemic and a string of box-office duds.
The film opened on Wednesday in over 5,000 screens across the country, including big cities like Delhi and Mumbai. The movie has a five-day extended opening weekend as it released just the day before Republic Day.
Till Tuesday, Pathaan sold with 4.19 lakh tickets sold in advance booking reflecting 80 per cent occupancy on day one, even for early morning shows beginning at 6 am or 7 am, said industry insiders.
14:50 India a 'bright spot' in world economy right now: top UN economist
India is a "bright spot" in the world economy currently and is on a "strong footing", projected to grow at 6.7 per cent next year, a very high growth rate relative to other G20 member countries, a top United Nations economist said.
These remarks were made by the Chief of the Global Economic Monitoring Branch, Economic Analysis and Policy Division, UN-Department of Economic and Social Affairs Hamid Rashid.
"I think India is a bright spot in the world economy right now," Rashid said at a press conference at United Nations Wednesday at the launch of the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2023 report.
The flagship report said that India's GDP is projected to moderate to 5.8 per cent in 2023 as higher interest rates and global economic slowdown weigh on investment and exports.
India's economic growth is expected to remain strong even as prospects for other South Asian nations "are more challenging.
India is projected to grow at 6.7 per cent in 2024, the fastest-growing major economy in the world.
Rashid said, "we believe the Indian economy is on a strong footing given the strong domestic demand in the near term.
Noting that India's economic growth is expected to pick up in 2024 to 6.7 per cent, he said this is very high growth relative to other G20 member countries.
The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Trkiye, United Kingdom and United States) and the European Union
"This is a sustainable growth rate for India. India also has a significant number of people living in poverty. So this would be a great boost. If India can sustain this growth rate in the near term, that would be good for the Sustainable Development Goals, good for poverty reduction globally," Rashid said.
Responding to a question on the Indian economy, Rashid, who is the lead author of the report, attributed three factors to India's current economic strength.
He said India's unemployment rate has come down significantly in the last four years to 6.4 per cent and is lower than what it was around 2017. "That means the domestic demand has been pretty strong, he said.
India's inflation pressure also has eased quite significantly and it is expected to be about 5.5 per cent this year and 5 per cent in 2024.
Rashid said this means that the country's central bank would not have to aggressively go for monetary tightening.
The third factor benefitting India is that its import bills have been lower, "especially energy import cost has been lower than in the previous years. That has also helped India's growth prospect in 2022 and 2023," he said.
14:43 189 prisoners released from Maharashtra jails on Republic Day
A total of 189 inmates were released from various prisons in Maharashtra on the occasion of the Republic Day on Thursday, an official said.
The state government had issued an order to give special remission to the 189 prisoners.
The prisoners who were released included 35 each from central prisons in Nashik and Nagpur, 20 from Yerwada Central Jail in Pune, 16 from Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai, 11 from Thane Central Jail and four from Mumbai Central Prison (Arthur Road Jail), a prisons department spokesperson said.
The Maharashtra Prisons Department last week said in order to commemorate the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', the Centre has decided to give special remission to certain categories of prisoners on the basis of their good conduct during their term and free them on three occasions August 15, 2022, January 26, 2023, and August 15, 2023.
The prisoners are selected on the basis of their age, time spent in jail, disabilities and health condition, the official said.
The 189 inmates selected for the release on Thursday include 16 who are 60 years of age or above and have completed 50 per cent of the total sentence and 162 are those who have completed two-third part (66 per cent) of the total sentence, jail authorities earlier said.
14:05 Adani exploring legal options against Hindenburg
A day after Adani Group's shares took a beating as Hindenburg Research made damaging allegations against it, the group on Thursday said it is examining legal options to take "punitive action" against the US activist investor for its "reckless" attempt to sabotage a share-sale at the conglomerate's flagship firm.
"The maliciously mischievous, unresearched report published by Hindenburg Research on January 24, 2023 has adversely affected the Adani Group, our shareholders and investors. The volatility in Indian stock markets created by the report is of great concern and has led to unwanted anguish for Indian citizens," the group's lead head Jatin Jalundhwala said in a statement.
The report and its unsubstantiated contents were designed to have a deleterious effect on the share values of Adani Group companies as Hindenburg Research, by their own admission, is positioned to benefit from a slide in Adani shares, he said.
"We are deeply disturbed by this intentional and reckless attempt by a foreign entity to mislead the investor community and the general public, undermine the goodwill and reputation of the Adani Group and its leaders, and sabotage the FPO (Follow-on Public Offering) from Adani Enterprises," he said.
"We are evaluating the relevant provisions under US and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research."
The statement however did not say if the group is planning to sue Hindenburg.
Hindenburg, a US-based investment research firm that specialises in activist short-selling, said on Wednesday that its two-year investigation revealed that Adani Group has "engaged in a brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades."
The report came just as a Rs 20,000 crore follow-on share sale of Adani Enterprises opened for institutional investors. All the listed stocks of the group took a beating after the report.
Adani Enterprises closed 1.54 per cent lower on Wednesday while Adani Ports & SEZ ended 6.3 per cent down.
13:14 Sunny Deol wields a hammer in first poster of 'Gadar 2'
The makers of Gadar 2 on the occasion of Republic Day unveiled the first look of Sunny Deol, one of its lead stars in the upcoming romantic period action drama.
A sequel of the superhit 2001 film Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, the movie will also see other original stars Ameesha Patel and Utkarsh Sharma reprise their roles.
Filmmaker Anil Sharma, who also helmed the original, has directed the follow-up which is produced by Zee Studios.
The first poster of the film shows Deol as the muscular Tara Singh wielding a big hammer amid destruction, with the tagline 'Hindustan Zindabad'.
Sharma said the team is "thrilled" to launch the first poster of Gadar 2.
"Gadar - Ek Prem Katha isn't my film but it's a people's film and dynamically shifted the paradigm of the Indian film industry. It went on to become a cult icon wherein people breathed Tara Singh and Sakina's love story," the director said in a statement.
The first movie followed the love story of Tara Singh (Deol), an Indian Sikh man, and Sakina (Patel), a Pakistani Muslim woman, during the turbulent times of Partition 1947.
12:56 Telangana CM skips R-Day celebrations at Raj Bhavan
Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan hoisted the national flag at the Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad on Thursday on the occasion of Republic Day and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao did not attend the event.
Chief Secretary Santhi Kumar, DGP Anjani Kumar and other officials were present on the occasion.
The Governor felicitated noted Telugu music director M M Keeravani whose song from the film 'RRR' won the Golden Globe award recently, lyricist Chandra Bose who penned the song, table tennis player Akula Sreeja, M Bala Latha who trains IAS aspirants, K Lokeswari (para-athletics) and Bhagwan Mahavir Vikalang Sahayata Samiti (NGO) on the occasion.
The Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to conduct Republic Day celebrations in a grand manner, with a ceremonial parade, as per the instructions issued by the Central government.
The high court passed the order after hearing a petition seeking a direction to the government to organise the parade as part of the celebrations.
Counsel of the petitioner contended that earlier Republic Day was celebrated at Parade Ground in Hyderabad in a grand manner and many people used to visit and witness the celebrations (which was not happening now).
Relations between the Raj Bhavan and the BRS government in the state are not on the best of terms with Soundararajan complaining of protocol not being followed with regard to her office, while the government has expressed reservations about some bills pending with the governor and her style of functioning. -- PTI
12:20 R-Day parade concludes with national anthem
The Republic Day parade at Kartavaya Path ended with national anthem. The celebrations, however, will continue and culminate on January 30, obsevered as Martyrs' Day.
Escorted by President's Bodyguard, President Droupadi Murmu and Republic Day Parade Chief Guest, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El '"Sisi, departed from Kartavya Path for Rashtrapati Bhavan.
12:16 R-Day: IAF displays grand flypast with 45 aircraft
The grand finale of the parade, the Fly Past, witnessing a breath-taking air show by 45 aircraft of Indian Air Force, one from the Indian Navy and four helicopters of Indian Army.
12:05 R-Day parade: Daredevils perform motorcycle stunts
Corps of Signals Dare Devils team mesmerises the audience with their performance at Kartavya Path on Republic Day.
Tripura tableau at Kartavya Path
11:37 17 states showcase tableau on Kartavya Path
Colourful tableau from Assam, Maharshatra, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Gujarat, West Bengal and several other states and Union Territories rolled down the revamped Kartavya Path, with 'Nari Shakti' being the theme for majority of the floats.
11:28 R-Day: Indian Army showcase only 'Made in India' weapon systems
As India celebrated its 74th Republic Day on Thursday, Kartavya Path in the national capital witnessed the prowess of the armed forces armoured with hi-tech indigenously made equipment.
The Republic Parade 2023 kicked off with a march by a contingent of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
The Indian Armed Forces has been rendering its selfless service to the nation and its countrymen, ensuring stability and dominance on the frontiers along the Line of Control (LoC), the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and worldwide through UN Peacekeeping missions.
Indian Army's Lethality, Accuracy and Reliability witnessed a leap with the acquisition of platforms like Akash Missile System, satellites, Modular Bridges, towed guns, utility helicopters, electronic warfare system and the likes of surface-to-air missiles.
This year, only Made-in-India weapon systems were showcased at the Republic Day parade including ammunition showcased India's indigenization power, including 21 Gun Salute through 'Made in India' 105 mm Indian Field Guns, recently inducted LCH Prachand, the K-9 Vajra howitzers, MBT Arjun, Nag anti-tank guided missiles, Akash air defence missiles, and the Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicles.
11:20 Responsibility of all to strengthen republic: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal greeted people on the occasion of Republic Day on Thursday, asserting that it was the responsibility of all to strengthen democracy in the country.
The people and the rule by the people are the most important in a republic, Kejriwal said.
"Many congratulations and good wishes to all the countrymen on Republic Day. In a republic, the people and the rule by the people are most important. Our freedom fighters made many sacrifices to establish the republic of India. Now it's our responsibility to strengthen this republic," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
At the Delhi government's Republic Day function on Wednesday, he had raised the issue of alleged "harassment" faced by states and UTs at the hands of the Centre- appointed Governors and LGs.
He had wondered whether a dark shadow was looming over democracy in the country. -- PTI
11:16 Lt Cdr Disha Amrith leads naval marching contingent
The Naval contingent of 144 young sailors led by Lt Cdr Disha Amrith as Contingent Commander marches down Kartavya Path.
The marching contingent for the first time in history consists of three women and six men Agniveers.
11:01 Only serving active Horsed Cavalry Regiment at Kartavya Path
61st Cavalry, the only serving active Horsed Cavalry Regiment in the world, is marching at Kartavya Path.
Their motto is 'Ashva Shakti Yashobal'.
10:26 President Murmu, Egypt's Sisi leave for Kartavya Path
President Droupadi Murmu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi departed from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to attend the Republic Day celebrations at Kartavya Path.
10:25 Modi pays tribute at National War Memorial
Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute at the National War Memorial ahead of Republic Day celebrations.
He is accompanied by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff Lt General Anil Chauhan, and the chiefs of the three armed forces.
09:46 IBM to cut 3,900 jobs amid broader tech slowdown: Report
IBM Corp has joined the wave of companies conducting layoffs, saying it would cut about 3,900 jobs, the Wall Street Journal said.
The job cuts will stem from Kyndryl Holdings, the IT services business that IBM spun off last year, and its healthcare divestiture, from which the company will incur about a USD 300 million charge, an IBM spokesman told WSJ.
The layoffs would amount to a 1.4 per cent reduction from its headcount of 2,80,000, according to the IBM's latest annual report.
The information technology company posted flat sales in the fourth quarter after the strong US dollar hurt its reported revenue by more than USD 1 billion, according to WSJ.
IBM posted net income of USD 2.71 billion, or USD 2.96 a share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, compared with USD 2.33 billion, or USD 2.57 a share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were USD 3.60 a share, slightly above analysts' estimates of USD 3.59 a share, according to the WSJ report. Revenue edged down to USD 16.69 billion from USD 16.70 billion a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet expected USD 16.15 billion.
Revenue for several of the Armonk, New York-based company's segments grew compared with the prior-year period. According to WSJ, software gained 2.8 per cent to USD 7.3 billion; consulting added 0.5 per cent to USD 4.8 billion; and infrastructure rose 1.6 per cent to USD 4.5 billion. IBM's financing segment slid 0.4 per cent to USD 200 million from a year earlier.
09:41 US to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine
President Joe Biden has announced that the US will send 31 state-of-the-art Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine to help its troops push back Russian forces that remain entrenched in the country's east for almost a year since Moscow's invasion.
President Biden's announcement came on Wednesday after he held talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on aiding Ukraine.
"Today, I'm announcing that the United States will be sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian battalion. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has recommended this step because it will enhance Ukraine's capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives," Biden said.
The Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world, Biden said, adding that they are also extremely complex to operate and maintain.
The US will also provide training programme to maintain and operate these tanks, as well as eight M88 recovery vehicles to go along with the Abrams tanks.
"So, we are also giving Ukraine the parts and equipment necessary to effectively sustain these tanks on the battlefield. We will begin to train the Ukrainian troops on these issues of sustainment, logistics, and maintenance soon as possible," he said.
Biden said the delivery of these tanks will "take time" that Washington will use to ensure "Ukrainians are fully prepared to integrate the Abram tanks into their defences."
"With spring approaching, Ukrainian forces are working to defend the territory they hold and preparing for additional counter offenses," he said.
09:18 Google marks 74th R-Day with doodle based on hand-cut paper art
Search giant Google has commemorated India's 74th Republic Day with an artwork that uses intricately hand-cut paper and features iconic landmarks such as Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, North Block and South Block, a contingent and motorcycle-borne 'Daredevils'.
The doodle depicts the letters 'g', 'o', 'g', 'l' and 'e' in lowercase black fonts while a circle over the dome of the President's House symbolically represents the other 'o' in 'Google'.
A peacock and floral patterns add a layer of charm to the art in monochrome.
"Today's doodle celebrating India Republic Day was illustrated by Ahmedabad, Gujarat-based guest-artist Parth Kothekar," the software giant said in a note shared on the doodle on its website.
It also features a video of the doodle in the making.
"My inspiration was to create a portrait of India," says the artist.
"Today's doodle artwork is crafted from intricately hand-cut paper. Many elements of the Republic Day parade are represented in the artwork, including the Rashtrapati Bhavan (where the president resides), the India Gate, the CRFP marching contingent, and motorcycle riders. Happy Republic Day, India!" the note said.
On this day in 1950, India declared itself a sovereign, democratic, and republic state with the adoption of the Constitution. -- PTI
09:12 'Support free press': US on India banning Modi docu
Describing India banning the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a matter of press freedom, the United States State Department said that it is high time to highlight the importance of democratic principles like freedom of expression and make it a point around the world as well as in India.
Ned Price, the US State Department spokesperson, in a regular briefing on Wednesday underlined that Washington supports free press around the world and that it is a matter of utmost importance to highlight democratic principles like freedom of expression.
Responding to a media query, Price said, "We support the importance of a free press around the world. We continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles, such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, as human rights that contribute to the strengthening of our democracies. This is a point we make in our relationships around the world. It's certainly a point we've made in India as well."
Earlier, addressing a press briefing on Monday (local time), Price stated that there are numerous elements that bolster the US' global strategic partnership with India which include political, economic and exceptionally deep people-to-people ties.
"I'm not familiar with the documentary you're referring to. I am very familiar with the shared values that enact the United States and India as two thriving, vibrant democracies. When we have concerns about actions that are taken in India, we've voiced those we've had an occasion to do that," he said.
The Centre had last week directed blocking of multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the documentary.
The two-part BBC documentary, which claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of that state, has been trashed by the ministry of external affairs as a "propaganda piece" that lacked objectivity and reflected a "colonial mindset".
The directions on blocking access were understood to have been issued by the ministry of information and broadcasting on Friday using the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021.
08:53 Modi greets people on Republic Day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted people on Republic Day on Thursday and said it is special this time as it is being celebrated during the "Amrit Mahotsav" of the country's independence.
"Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav" is an initiative of the government to celebrate 75 years of independence.
Modi tweeted, "I wish that we move forward unitedly to fulfill the dreams of the country's great freedom fighters. Happy Republic Day to all fellow Indians!"
08:40 Trump's Facebook, Instagram ban to be lifted
Meta Platforms Inc has said that it will restore former United States President Donald Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts, which were suspended following the Capitol Hill riots on January 6, 2021.
Trump, 76, announced in November last year that he will make another dash for the White House in 2024.
Before his accounts got suspended, he had 34 million followers on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram.
"The suspension was an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances," Nick Clegg, president Global Affairs, Meta said in a blog post on Wednesday.
"The public should be able to hear what politicians are saying so they can make informed choices," he said.
Clegg asserted that under its new newsworthy content policy if Meta assesses there is a public interest in knowing that Trump made the statement that outweighs any potential harm, it may opt to restrict the distribution of such posts but still leave them visible on his account.
"We default to letting people speak, even when what they have to say is distasteful or factually wrong. Democracy is messy and people should be able to make their voices heard, Clegg wrote.
"We believe it is both necessary and possible to draw a line between content that is harmful and should be removed, and content that, however distasteful or inaccurate, is part of the rough and tumble of life in a free society," he said.
Clegg said Meta has put new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses."
Facebook is not only the world's largest social media site, but also a critical source of fundraising for Trump's political campaigns.
In a post on Truth Social, Trump responded by saying: "FACEBOOK, which has lost Billions of Dollars in value since "deplatforming" your favorite President, me, has just announced that they are reinstating my account. Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution."
Trump was reinstated by Twitter in November last year after Elon Musk took over the company. -- PTI
File image/PTI Photo
01:25 Fire in Mumbai high-rise; 10 residents hospitalised
A fire erupted in a 29-floor residential building in Mumbai on Wednesday, following which 10 residents were hospitalised as they suffered from suffocation and other problems, officials said.
The incident occurred around 1.45 am in a common passage on the 24th floor of Shivshakti building in Lokhandwala complex in suburban Andheri and caused thick smoke, they said.
At least four fire engines along with five jumbo tankers and other fire brigade vehicles were sent to the spot and the blaze was doused by 5.15 am, a fire brigade official said.
The fire confined to electric cables in a common passage on the 24th floor, a civic official said, adding that heavy smoke also spread to the building's 23rd floor.
"A total of 10 people, including four senior citizens, were hospitalised after the fire in the multi-storey building," the official said. Of them, six were admitted to the Nanavati Hospital at Vile Parle, while remaining four others were admitted to the Kokilaben Hospital in Andheri.
"Of the four people admitted to the Kokilaben Hospital, two have been discharged after treatment, while two others are still undergoing treatment and their condition is stable," he said. -- PTI
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi handed over chadar/ANI
00:50 Modi, Gehlot offer 'chadar' at Ajmer dargah on Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti's death anniversary
A chadar on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was offered during the Urs of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at the Ajmer dargah on Wednesday.
A chadar on behalf of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was also presented.
The Urs commemorates the death anniversary of Chishti, one of the most notable Sufi saints who was also known as Gharib Nawaz or the benefactor of the poor, and draws a large crowd.
Wishing Chishti's followers all over the world on the occasion of the 811th Urs, Modi pointed towards the rich heritage of the country where there is a harmonious co-existence of various beliefs and faiths.
"Seers, pirs and fakirs have always strengthened the cultural fabric of the nation through the message of peace, unity and harmony," the prime minister's message in Hindi read.
"Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is the symbol of the great spiritual traditions of India. The service of humanity done by Gharib Nawaz will keep on inspiring generations," Modi said.
The chadar on behalf of Gehlot was presented by Rajasthan Waqf Board President Khanu Khan Budhwali. -- PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi/File image
00:28 Left students plan to screen BBC docu in Kolkata
Left student bodies of West Bengal have planned to screen the controversial BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the campuses of at least two universities of Kolkata.
The Student Federation of India will show the documentary at Jadavpur University on Thursday and at Presidency University the day after, the state organisation's assistant secretary Subhajit Sarkar said.
"The documentary will be screened via a projector. We are yet to get permission from the university authorities. We will carry on with the screening even if we do not get it,' Sarkar said.
"We hope that many of the general students, including those who don't support us, will come and watch it. We want people to join us in discussion and debate about the film," he said.
All India Students' Association, another Left body, also decided to screen the documentary on the campus of Jadavpur University on January 27, said Sandip Nayak, a senior member of the organisation.
Members of Presidency University's visual arts society will also screen the documentary on February 1, said Moitreyo Sarkar, one of the organisers. -- PTI